Wrestling’s Olympic programme is all set to undergo a significant change ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
It is learnt that the United World Wrestling (UWW), the sport’s world governing body, has decided to revise the existing Olympics weight categories in both freestyle and Greco-Roman format.
These changes, if cleared by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), would see some of the current Indian wrestlers shift from their original weight category.
In the men’s freestyle, Sandeep Tomar, who competes in the 57kg category, will need to move to 60kg. Similarly, Bajrang, who participates in the 65kg category, is likely to move to the 70kg category.
In the women’s freestyle, Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik, who originally competes in the 58kg, may have to settle for the 60kg category.
UWW would engage in further discussions with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to push for the revision of the existing weight categories. The UWW bureau members would deliberate on the presentation, to be made to IOC in coming months, in its meeting on the sidelines of the 2017 World Championships in Paris on August 21-26. If cleared by IOC, the Tokyo Olympics would see the wrestlers competing in the new weight categories.
Besides, UWW has also decided to increase the weight categories from the existing eight to 10 at all UWW competitions, including the World and Continental Championships, World Cups, Golden Grand Prix Championships and Asian Championships, among others.
The UWW bureau members will vote on the new categories for senior and cadet-level wrestling during its Paris meeting. Once approved, the new categories will come into effect from January 1, 2018.
UWW and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) have also agreed to reduce the number of weight categories to six from the exiting seven in the Asian Games. The decision will into effect from the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games.
In another decision, the weigh-ins would happen on the day of the wrestler’s bout, not a day before as per the current practice.